WITH load-shedding being experienced by large parts of the country in recent days, a private security company has warned South Africans to make sure their alarm systems are tested and working properly.“Many people are under the incorrect assumption that their home alarm system is deactivated when the power supply is interrupted. “However, if you have a stable and correctly-programmed system coupled with a battery that is in good condition, it will continue to protect the premises during a power outage — regardless if the outage is because of load-shedding or not,” says Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT.Hattingh says the only time it may not function correctly is if there is a technical issue, or the battery power is low. “Most modern alarm systems have a back-up battery pack that activates automatically when there is a power failure,” says Hattingh.She adds that there are a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure security is not compromised during power cuts.Some of these include ensuring that the alarm system has an adequate battery supply, that all automated gates and doors are secured and lastly to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your security provider or the South African Police Service (SAPS).With the added inconvenience of the lights going out at night due to power cuts, candles and touch-lights are handy alternatives. Hattingh says home and business-owners should consider installing Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, which is integrated into the alarm system’s wiring and automatically switches on for a maximum of 15 minutes when there is a power outage.“If there is an additional battery pack, the small, non-intrusive LED lights can stay on for the duration of the power outage — or a maximum of 40 hours — without draining the primary alarm battery,” she explains. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER ABOUT BEING PREPARED FOR A POWER CUT, SAYS HATTINGH, ARE:· It is important that your alarm system has an adequate battery supply. Batteries should be checked regularly.· Alarms should be checked during extended power outages to keep systems running.· Power cuts can impact on fire systems and fire control systems; so these also need to be checked regularly.· The more frequent use of gas and candles can increase the risk of fire and home fire extinguishers should be on hand.· Above all, remain vigilant during a power cut; be on the look-out for any suspicious activity and report this to us or the SAPS immediately.